There are more than 50 thousand parasitic animal species, most of which have pathogenic qualities. Parasites are divided into several groups, depending on the habitat. For dogs, each of the groups of parasites is a special danger.
Internal parasites in Dogs
Predominate in the internal organs of the animal and blood. Among the most common diseases caused by the presence of internal parasites, there are:
- Leishmaniasis is a protozoal disease in dogs caused by protozoan organisms from the class of flagellates. The parasite affects the internal organs of the animal. It prevails in Central Asia and Transcaucasia. It can be transmitted from the pet to the owner and Vice versa.
Infection begins with contact with a sick animal or when bitten by mosquitoes that are infested with Leishmania. In nature, leishmaniasis is spread by rodents, such as red-tailed gerbils and ground squirrels. The incubation period of the disease in dogs lasts from two days to two months. Signs of acute leishmaniasis are as follows:
— sluggish state of the animal;
— high temperature;
— loss of appetite;
— heavy hair loss;
— bedsores appear.
Ulcers formed during the disease occur on the head, on the muzzle (nose), ears. It is also possible to appear on the withers and root of the tail. The duration of the disease is several weeks. In General, acute leishmaniasis prevails in the summer, during the months of the highest activity of mosquitoes.
It is possible to diagnose the disease only after examining skin scrapings. Therefore, at the first signs of leishmaniasis, the animal should be immediately shown to a veterinarian who will prescribe a course of medications. As preventive measures, various aerosols and emulsions are used, and measures are taken to destroy infected rodents and blood-sucking insects.
- Ascariasis – belongs to the group of nematodes, diseases caused by helminths. The pet becomes infected due to non-compliance with hygiene standards. A dog, eating infected food, enters the body of parasite eggs, as a result, the larvae enter various organs of the animal. Signs of a sick dog:
— dull coat;
— liquid stool;
— nausea and vomiting;
— reduced appetite;
— intestinal obstruction.
The sick animal must be shown to a specialist who will prescribe a course of deworming. Anthelmintics in combination with laxatives help to get rid of helminths mechanically. Some herbal preparations can also be used as anthelmintic agents, such as pumpkin seeds, fern root extract. The effect of deworming will only be when the cestode leaves the animal’s body along with the head. Otherwise, you will not be able to get rid of the parasites.
As a preventive measure, the owner needs to replace the dog’s litter more often, keep the pet’s place of residence clean, and observe hygiene standards.
Skin parasites in Dogs
Predominate, as a rule, on the skin of the animal. The most common ones include:
- Notoedres (suneva scabies) – this disease occurs as a result of the appearance of two itch mites. Zudni-parasites have a body in the form of a turtle, they have suckers on their feet, and a proboscis on their head. In the stratum corneum of the skin, they gnaw through passages and lay eggs. One female produces up to 40 eggs-larvae. Ten days later, new individuals appear, which begin to gnaw through the passages already in the thick layer of skin, and touch the nerve endings and the dog begins to experience severe itching. The animal begins to actively comb the affected areas, which leads to the formation of new crusts and scabs.
Signs of disease in a pet:
— severe itching;
— hair loss;
— the appearance of crusts on the skin;
— increased anxiety and nervousness;
— weight loss.
The method of treatment of a sick dog will depend on the time of year, breed and location of scabies. The veterinarian will select the optimal course of treatment after the examination. Before using medicinal products, it is necessary to clean the affected area of the skin from dirt, scabs and crusts. If there are areas of matted wool and tangles – they need to be cut. Hold the dog firmly during processing, and it is best to put a muzzle on it.
Treat the affected areas for a week three times a day. Scabies mites can be cured by rubbing ointments (vaseline, tar, green soap, the proportions are the same).
- Otodectosis, also known as ear scabies, occurs due to contact with the skin of a skin-eating tick. It spreads over the entire surface of the ears. A pet becomes infected during contact with another sick animal. The parasite has an oval body, a well-developed gnawing apparatus and three pairs of limbs. Skin eaters gnaw out the surface layers of the skin, as a result of which blood crusts begin to form. The dog begins to itch and scratches its ears. If you start the disease and do not start treatment in time, the pet will have a perforation of the eardrum and inflammation of the inner ear will begin. In complex and advanced cases, the infection touches the brain, which leads to the development of meningitis, as a result of which the dog dies.
Signs of infection:
— head shaking;
— frequent intense scratching of the ears;
— head and ears rubbing against various objects;
— purulent discharge.
As with leishmaniasis, the disease can only be diagnosed after a scraping test for the presence of ticks. According to the test results, the veterinarian may prescribe an ailing dog aerosol citrin or acrodex. An effective method of treatment is considered to be washing the ears with a solution of 2% streptocide.
After a week, the course of treatment should be repeated again, since all of the above means will not affect the eggs of skin eaters. To prevent the disease, the dog’s ears should be treated once every six months with a special anti-scratch agent.
External parasites in Dogs
Spread over the external (hair) covers of the host. This group includes the following parasites:
- Fleas are blood – sucking insects that live in dry, dusty places. Fleas not only cause discomfort for the dog, but also pose a great danger to the animal’s health, as they are carriers of various dangerous diseases.
To detect parasites is easy: the dog begins to actively and dramatically to itch. When examining the coat, you can notice dark specks of blood – this is flea excrement. A large cluster of blood-suckers can be found under the ears and on the muzzle of the animal. And also in the groin area and on the abdomen. Treatment consists in treating the dog’s fur with special shampoos and aerosols. In summer, the treatment should be repeated in two weeks, and in winter in three.
As a preventive measure, you need to carefully monitor the cleanliness of the place where the dog is kept.
- Hair eaters. Two types of hair eaters can parasitize Pets. They have a large gnawing apparatus, a pale yellow body. As food, the scales of the epidermis are used. Female hair eaters lay eggs on their hair. After three weeks, the larvae become adult parasites.
Locations of hair eaters: the inner surface of the paws, muzzle, tail. A sick dog begins to actively itch, biting off itchy areas, resulting in baldness.
Treatment is prescribed by a veterinarian. One of the treatment options is to treat the affected areas with soap, disinfectants, and a 3% solution of tobacco decoction. The course can be repeated 4 times in every two days. Prevention includes the establishment of the diet, maintenance of cleanliness, of the place of stay of the pet and the observance of hygienic norms and requirements.
Parasitic diseases bring not only great discomfort to the dog, but also pose a serious danger. Therefore, at the first signs of the disease, you do not need to self-medicate. Only a veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis. Be careful, monitor your pet’s diet, regularly clean the place where they stay, and perform regular hygiene procedures. Disease is always easier to prevent than to treat!
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and I’m a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.